HOW DO I START?
We're Glad You Asked! This page aims to answer all of your initial questions about joining us.
To start, we'd like to introduce our team of instructors:
Meet The Team
Founder and Lead Instructor
Vice President and Instructor
These instructors offer community and high-quality training in the art of combat.
Here is a simple step-by-step process to get started training with the Warriors of Ash:
Check on the calendar to see when our next beginner's classes are starting--we do beginner's training once a month.
Sign our online Waiver (parents must sign for youth students) and Code of Conduct (on the same page) --NOTE: If you have a different name you go by, please put it forefront with your legal name AFTER in ()'s when signing up for the website or signing waivers so we can identify you!
Pay for your beginner's package through our website's Shop. This is essential -- there are NO drop-in class rates for these classes. If you are paying cash you MUST message us saying so at least 48 hours prior to class start. All packages must be paid for or with a confirmed promise-to-pay at least 48 hours prior to the first class.
Come to all beginner's classes on time wearing weather appropriate comfortable work out clothes and bring enough water for 1.5 hours of instruction. See the FAQ below for what happens if you miss a class.
You will have the remainder of the month as an included membership upon successful completion of the program to try out any of the classes we offer. Come to as many classes as you'd like once you have completed training.
After graduation -- Sign up for your membership to continue your training through our Shop. (You may also opt for Drop-in class rates at this time.) Request to be added to our Discord, and request membership on our website for access to our free PDF for new warriors.
Some Commonly Asked Questions:
Q: What do I need to bring? Do I need to buy a sword? Do I need any special equipment?
A: We do not require you to bring anything except some water and comfortable work out clothes that are weather appropriate. The only exception is for men we require you to wear a cup. You will not need this for your first couple classes, but we do require men to own and bring a wearable cup by the end of the beginner's classes. This is absolutely a requirement and is non-negotiable. For more information on gear and HEMA, check out our gear FAQ.
Q: Can my child join? How much is the kid's class? What if I have two children? Do I need special equipment?
A: We offer class space to youth ages 15+ joining with their parents, and otherwise on a case-by-case basis. They must complete the beginner's package class just like adults, and parents must be present at each beginner's class. After, at the instructors' discretion, parents may leave during classes their child attends. We offer discounts for family members only. We require male youth students to have cups just the same as we require adults--Do Not sign your child up for class without a cup already purchased. If you'd like to sign one or more teenagers up for classes, please message us here on the website or on the Facebook main page so we may discuss it. Keep in mind they will be potentially training and sparring with adults, though we have several safety precautions in place. The instructors can discuss this further with parents during sign up. As far as special equipment, everyone in HEMA needs protective equipment, and while the cup is most important, there are other pieces that will be needed. See the Gear FAQ on our website for more info.
Q: How much does it cost to join?
A: The initial beginner's package is $60 and provides 3 fundamental classes in a smaller, focused setting followed by a membership trial to give the student access to all of our regularly scheduled training classes. Afterward, memberships cost the exact same and open up the opportunity to train at any and every class we host plus access to many incentives, continued access to our group sparring gear, and more. We also offer very basic drop-in prices of $10 a class.
Q: Can I watch a class?
A: We welcome anyone to come to witness a class to see if it is something they'd like to join. MOST, but not all, of our classes are open to viewing.
The classes we Do Not allow viewings: Beginner's classes, our build workshops, our private events, and women's and youth specific classes and workshops (Unless you identify as someone who would attend these classes). Any other classes are open to viewings. Check our meetup page and keep up with our facebook page just in case classes are changed. We do our best to keep students informed of class changes in advance.
Q: What if I don't want to fight?
A: We offer training with the goal of not only fighting but studying and learning. Students are welcome to decline to engage in sparring, they need to let instructors know this though, and may need to remind instructors. We shall simply place you on our No-Spar list. If you ever change your mind, let the instructors know. Instructors may ask you to participate in drills where minimal or no contact occur as part of essential training with the weapon of choice.
Q: What if I have an injury? What if I am out of shape?
A: We want classes to be challenging but adaptable to each student's needs. If you have any injuries, concerns, or special needs, please let the instructors know before class starts. You do NOT need to be an athlete or in any particular kind of shape to participate in classes! We offer conditioning training and hope you strive to be your best at class, but we welcome people to communicate their limits and grow at their own pace. If the instructor says "10 push-ups!" for example, you are welcome to do modified push-ups, fewer reps, etc. As long as you try your best we believe you will get an amazing workout and lesson out of each and every class.
Q: How can I support the school even if I cannot train yet?
A: There are many ways to support us! Donating is the easiest and best way to help our school continue to provide quality instruction of HEMA in a safe, supportive environment. You can also come out to our events, say hello and support our sponsors by buying products or services. We are also a part of Amazon Smile's program, and if you select smile.amazon.com (in the Chrome browser you can download the "smile always" extension which will push amazon.com into smile.amazon automatically, a very handy tool) and any purchase you make on smile.amazon will donate money to us without costing you a cent more! You can also help us out by sharing our posts, liking our facebook page, and spreading the word of our school to anyone who might be interested.
Q: How do I sign up for Private Lessons?
A: Private lessons are scheduled through facebook messenger as all instructors have access to this. If you prefer a specific instructor, you may opt to message them directly instead. We require students signing up for private lessons to schedule the lesson FIRST with the instructor, and then pay within 24 hours of scheduling the appointment. Instructors are notified when payment is received and will not attend a training session without prepayment. The pricing is listed in our Shop. We do not offer refunds for private lessons canceled, as each slot taken is a slot we have denied another student. If you do have something serious come up, please let us know as soon as possible. If you don't have facebook, please email us your phone number and we may coorespond through email and text.
Q: What if I miss a class?
A: Missing a beginner's class will ultimately mean not completing the beginner's package and we cannot allow incomplete beginner lessons to then become training members of WoA. We cannot offer refunds or exchanges for beginner's packages that are paid for and we encourage you to make your best effort to attend. We understand life happens though, and we typically reserve limited times for private lessons. If you'd like to make up a beginner's class you may attempt to sign up for a private lesson in order to do so--keep in mind this does not count as a Member's Only rate for beginner's classes and this is not guaranteed to be available. Signing up for a private lesson will cost the amount of the class (1.5 hours) extra and your beginner's package payment cannot be used to supplement the cost. Alternatively, you can re-sign up for beginner's classes the following month and simply try again. We do allow you to delay your beginner's classes entirely if you have not started yet. To give an example: let's say you end up with the flu after signing up. You have not attended class 1 yet. You may message us in Advance (not after a no-call-no-show to class 1) and request to delay your training for the following month. You will not have to pay any additional money. This can only be done if the package has not been initiated (i.e. you cannot delay class 2 and 3 after having attended class 1). If there is a weather advisory or winter storm that occurs we will get with students and ensure we create space and time to make up classes at no expense to the student. We have had situations like this before, and will make every effort to make up classes that fit your schedule should disaster weather such as snow and flooding occur.
Q: What if I cannot attend on Sundays but want to train?
A: We feel for anyone who is not free on Sunday afternoons. We do offer private lessons for students as beginner lessons, but these are not always an option and are subject to instructor personal times available. You will need to follow the format for purchasing private lessons indicated above, and purchase all 4.5 hours of instruction in advance once a schedule is worked through with an instructor. The best thing to do is to message us telling us what dates/times you are available and let an instructor work with you on a schedule. However, if you start the process of booking private lessons and never pay for them, we will blacklist you for future bookings. Please ensure you are ready to train and pay for the instructor's time when you agree upon a schedule.
Q: What exactly is HEMA, and what do you guys do?
A: HEMA stands for Historical European Martial Arts. In short, throughout history weapon masters wrote books about how to fight with weapons we no longer use in modern day combat--weapons like swords, shields, spears, and axes. Nowadays, we take these famous manuals of these martial artists and we recreate their techniques. Many people assume martials arts are reserved for Eastern and Asian cultures, but Martial arts with specific forms, techniques, and masters of their arts existed in the West as well. It is their arts we recreate. We do this in tournaments for sport, and through individual study for cultural enrichment.
For some general information, here is a fantastic article written on the subject of HEMA: https://www.combatcon.com/what-is-hema-and-why-should-you-be-doing-it/